Pete Morin has been a trial attorney, a politician, a bureaucrat, a lobbyist, and now writes crime fiction and legal mumbo jumbo. His short fiction has appeared in NEEDLE, A Magazine of Noir, Words With Jam, 100 Stories for Haiti, and Words to Music. When he is not writing, Pete plays blues guitar in Boston bars, and on increasingly rare occasion, plays a round of golf. He lives in a money pit on the seacoast south of Boston, in an area once known as the Irish Riviera. Pete is represented by Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency.
What inspires you to write?
Initially, I began to write Diary of a Small Fish as a means of grieving the loss of my father. I figured I’d write one novel and be done with it. When I learned through the process how much fun it was to have characters talk to me, I decided to do it again, and again.
I have strong feelings about the nature and condition of the political world today, and use my life experiences in politics to spin stories that take place in that world.
Tell us about your writing process.
I wrote Diary of a Small Fish entirely from the seat of my pants. This was fine at the time, but as a result, the rewriting process was very long and complicated. I wrote a second novel without outlining, but I at least had the headlights on so I could see a short distance ahead of me. I finally broke down and bought Scrivener, which is helping me plan my current (third) novel with a bit more care.
I have no set work schedule. I spend my time writing either fiction or legal arguments (sometimes hard to tell the difference), and which takes precedence depends entirely on the moment and on deadlines.
I do not create character sketches. My characters simply appear to me out of thin air as I am writing. Once they reveal themselves, I do jot down a brief description of them, but not in the kind of deep detail that others might.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Some more than others.
When I was at the beginning of my second novel, I had a detective visit an old lady across the street from a murder scene. From the moment the old lady opened the door, she started telling me she wanted to be the murderer, and she wasn’t bashful about it. She was old, but in a Lauren Bacall sense – an elegant, sexy lady in her early 70’s. I asked her how she could possibly have pulled it off, and why she’d murder her neighbor. She was coy about letting me know the answers, and kept me in the dark until close to the end.
What advice would you give other writers?
I wouldn’t presume to give other writers any advice – but to those who aspire to become writers, I would simply say be patient and develop thick skin. As a general rule, if someone has something critical to say about your work, there is a good reason. You don’t have to agree with every criticism, but you have to be in a frame of mind to consider it with an open mind.
There is only one real truth in the work of writing – you can ALWAYS improve.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
The decision to self-publish Diary of a Small Fish was made jointly with my agent. She encouraged me to SP after her submissions to our agreed publishers were not accepted. She helped me devise the strategy, timing, etc. And she has used my success with Small Fish as a means of pitching my second novel to publishers.
I still don’t know if I’d finally agree to publish with a Big Pub – not until I see what the contract says.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future is rosy.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print